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RMT strikes to keep guards on the train

A SERIES of rail strikes will take place this week over the long-running dispute over the role of onboard guards.

Members of transport union RMT will walk out tomorrow, Thursday and Saturday on Northern Rail and for three days from Thursday on South Western Railway.

The dispute with five train operators has continued for over two years.

RMT called for last-ditch talks to resolve the Northern strike, claiming that taxpayers and passengers are footing the bill for the cost of the industrial action.

A clause in the franchise agreement signed between Northern and the government says Transport Secretary Chris Grayling can reimburse the firm for “net losses arising from industrial action,” RMT said.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said Mr Grayling is seeking to prolong the dispute by “bankrolling” Arriva, the German state-owned rail company that operates Northern, with taxpayers and passengers’ money.

“It will not work,” he said. “Our members remain as solid as ever in the fight to ensure safety and access for all on railways across the North.

“Instead of propping up a foreign-owned company in its fight against British workers, Chris Grayling should be allowing meaningful discussions to take place which would allow passengers to keep a second member of staff on every train.”

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